This morning I had a craving for french toast, but I wanted to dress it up a bit an add a serving of fruit. Enter Baked French Toast. My grandma makes a similar dish for company, and it’s a total crowd-pleaser. I used two kinds of bread: banana walnut and blueberry, both from the bakery, sliced and frozen. I defrosted them for five minutes in the microwave before using them. I also cut the recipe in half because I was cooking for two, and I used an 8×8 baking dish.
The french toast made the house smell of cinnamon and baking bread, and the cream cheese and egg mixture moistened it (I know y’all love the word “moist”). Top it with real maple syrup.
4 apples (Granny Smith recommended, but any kind is fine)
1 stick (1/2 cup butter)
1/2 cup (or more) brown sugar
12 ounces cream cheese
12 slices firm bread (up to you; some type of French bread is awesome)
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
Put the baking rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350. Butter a 13×9 baking dish. Slice the apples thinly; no need to remove the skins.
In a skillet, melt butter with brown sugar and 1/2 tablespoon water. Add the apples and stir to coat them with the sugar mixture, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add a splash more water if the sugar mixture begins to stick. Transfer coated apples to the baking dish and let cool.
Cut cream cheese into cubes, or spoon dollops, arranging it evenly over the apples. Cut the slices of bread in half diagonally and layer over the apples to cover the whole dish.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Use a flat spatula to press the bread down so it’s completely covered with egg mixture as it bakes. Otherwise, the tops will toast and come out dry. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden and puffed. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 6-8 and reheats well.